Event Title

Greener Bitcoins

Location

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

Start Date

8-11-2017 12:30 PM

End Date

8-11-2017 1:30 PM

Description

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word – Bitcoin? When asked this question, I got responses that were synonymous to “Easy New Money”. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have garnered popularity over the last 5 years. So much so, that in 2012 one Bitcoin was valued around $10 but today, one Bitcoin is a whopping $4300, approximately. At its core, the cryptocurrency networks are decentralized systems, with 2 kinds of participants - account holders and miners. Whenever a transaction takes place between the account holders, miners maintain the integrity of the system by checking its validity. The miners then compete to solve a puzzle, which validate these transactions, called Proof-of-Work (PoW). The miner who solved the puzzle first is rewarded a Bitcoin for its effort. Until now all sounds rosy and too good to be true, so where is the problem? In order to solve this PoW, an enormous amount of computation is needed. Not to throw around statistics, but to emphasize the gravity of the situation - A study of the carbon footprint of the Bitcoin network in 2013, when one Bitcoin valued around $1000, claimed that the annual CO2 emissions of the network were comparable to that of the country Cyprus. Some even went to the extent of calling it “A Real-World Environmental Disaster”. The reason for such enormous computational cost is the continuous need to solve PoW puzzles, in order to defend the system against malicious participants called adversaries. My dissertation research is aimed at designing novel efficient PoW protocols/algorithms, which result in the computational cost to the system to be commensurate with those of the adversary. More precisely, if the network is attacked, we ensure security, with a cost that grows linearly with the attacker’s cost; and, in the absence of an attack, our computational cost remains small.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Nov 8th, 12:30 PM Nov 8th, 1:30 PM

Greener Bitcoins

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word – Bitcoin? When asked this question, I got responses that were synonymous to “Easy New Money”. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have garnered popularity over the last 5 years. So much so, that in 2012 one Bitcoin was valued around $10 but today, one Bitcoin is a whopping $4300, approximately. At its core, the cryptocurrency networks are decentralized systems, with 2 kinds of participants - account holders and miners. Whenever a transaction takes place between the account holders, miners maintain the integrity of the system by checking its validity. The miners then compete to solve a puzzle, which validate these transactions, called Proof-of-Work (PoW). The miner who solved the puzzle first is rewarded a Bitcoin for its effort. Until now all sounds rosy and too good to be true, so where is the problem? In order to solve this PoW, an enormous amount of computation is needed. Not to throw around statistics, but to emphasize the gravity of the situation - A study of the carbon footprint of the Bitcoin network in 2013, when one Bitcoin valued around $1000, claimed that the annual CO2 emissions of the network were comparable to that of the country Cyprus. Some even went to the extent of calling it “A Real-World Environmental Disaster”. The reason for such enormous computational cost is the continuous need to solve PoW puzzles, in order to defend the system against malicious participants called adversaries. My dissertation research is aimed at designing novel efficient PoW protocols/algorithms, which result in the computational cost to the system to be commensurate with those of the adversary. More precisely, if the network is attacked, we ensure security, with a cost that grows linearly with the attacker’s cost; and, in the absence of an attack, our computational cost remains small.